The Glass Sofa 2

Good morning,

The other day I was starting to tell you about this painting I am working on.


There are some big areas of this that are not finished/started/figured out yet. One is this front corner:


What you see here is the way it looks after I have peeled off the first thing I tried. This is crusty glue.

I had started out having this corner be a coffee table with a potted plant on it. I wanted to use the clear plastic tabs that are part of hanging packaging. It’s the hole  thingie.  You can see the shape here:


Well the “plant” just didn’t look like a plant. The clear tabs did not have enough visual weight and it was hard to tell what it was supposed to be.

This is actually the point where this painting stalled for awhile.

The difficulty is that I cut and shaped adjacent areas to fit around this plant like a puzzle.  Now I have to continue the sofa into this area and have it look seamless. I am not sure how much I will need to redo of the existing sofa. I am not 100% sure if I have enough of the lawn chair strapping to complete it. I still want something in front of the sofa there. I also am faced with an incredibly rough surface to work on. I have spent a few hours scraping off the horrid glue and it’s sharp! I have shredded my knuckles a few times.

The lawn chair strapping is being stubborn about laying flat for me. I am not too concerned about it though, because I got the idea to use embroidery to hold it down. I like that Idea because it will enhance the feeling that this is upholstery and it adds another dimension. Shoot, it is on canvas isn’t it? People do needlepoint on canvas. In that way it’s a little wink.

One of the aspects I was playing with here is the transition from 2D to 3D. I have been imagining a great feeling of depth, created by all the standard means painters use on a flat painting but enhanced by the actual 3D objects glued on to the canvas. For this foreground area in front of the sofa I wanted whatever object is there to protrude the most, even hanging over the frame a bit, “breaking the proscenium”.  I dunno – maybe that’s too cheesy. I found a cache of flowers made from beaded wire in my late grandmother’s craft supplies. Those would hang way off the canvas!

This aspect of a 2D to 3D transition leads me to the window….


This area is not even started yet except that I glued down some ribbon to represent the mullions. This would be the flattest area, of course, perfectly smooth. There are several possibilities for this area.

#1) A painted landscape with nothing glued to it.

#2) A printed photo of a landscape applied. (This could be semi glossy to create the impression of it being seen through glass)

#3) New idea – Embroider a landscape, since there will be embroidery in the foreground too. I could use the textures of the stitches to create aerial perspective in the background.

#4) Another new idea – Well, after blogging the other day I got to thinking about those stick figures that are still there. What about leaving them alone? It would be like looking into the past through the window. I would need to make sure the wall and window frames looked absolutely solid. My only concern about this idea is that it introduces too many new concepts.  Suddenly the space would be more surreal as though the room existed in some fantastic world and I am not so sure it would not muddle things. Luckily I can look this option over a bit because it’s there already.

Many of the problems I run into, that stall me, could be prevented if I planned more. For example that window will need to be sanded a bit if I decide to paint the landscape scene, but that’s going to be a bitch and a half working around those beaded pillows that are already on the canvas.

The foreground area that I am scraping should have gone down last…I should have laid it down first before gluing. I would have seen the problems ahead of time.

The thing is, when I plan ahead, I get too concerned about issues that I don’t want in my art. I get concerned about what others will think. I start to sweat whether or not the piece I am doing would be considered “Art” with a capital “A” by others. I don’t want to think about that – it blocks things. Creative impulses are like a wave – I enjoy riding the wave.

There is probably a point of balance between the planning and the riding. There might be ways to work through times where I have just screwed a piece up by doing it bass-ackwards. Having 47 unfinished pieces hanging around is no use at all.

P.S. – for those who have followed this blog for awhile – Speedy the Cat passed away on Feb. 18th at the age of 16

About sharonpassmore

Hi. I am an artist living in Greenville, South Carolina. I am the Art moderator at Eratosphere, a forum of Ablemuse Review. I play with all sorts of art-forms, including digital design and fabric design, but nearest to my heart, at the moment, is collage. I like it best if the collage materials are not recognized from a distance and reveal themselves at close up, the way a painting can look realistic from a distance but on closer inspection, the freedom of brushstrokes becomes apparent. My materials are my brushstrokes. ​ I use anything I find in my collage that suits the purpose, beads, broken jewelry, wallpaper scraps etc... I always try to incorporate recycled packaging too. This is important to me, partly because of the environment, and partly because I get a little thrill out of recognizing the value of materials most people would discard as trash. Think of this next time you peel that wonderful foil seal off a new can of coffee. ​ I am inspired by many kinds of traditional arts and crafts. The cultural history of the world is just loaded with fabulous treasure, isn't it? I view the world of art and art history as a giant buffet and I want to sample a taste of everything. "Mmmmm that Wabi Sabi looks delicious! Gimme a little of that Horror Vacui! Check out those fantastic Molas!" I completely reject the idea that one artform is superior to another due to what is in fashion at the moment. Art is timeless. ​ If there's something I don't like too much, I try to keep in mind that I probably don't understand it, and that's a signal to me that I have something more to learn. There is always something more to learn. Thanks for visitng <3 Sharon Passmore
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